Module code: PSY3090

Module provider


Module Leader

TENENBAUM H Dr (Psychology)

Number of Credits


ECTS Credits



FHEQ Level 6

JACs code


Module cap (Maximum number of students)


Module Availability

Semester 1

Overall student workload

Independent Study Hours: 128

Lecture Hours: 22

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework 8 PAGE ESSAY 50
Examination 1-HOUR EXAMINATION 50

Alternative Assessment

Same as above.

Prerequisites / Co-requisites

This module has a capped number and may not be available to ERASMUS and other international exchange students. Please check with the departmental exchange coordinator.

Module overview

This final year course introduces students to theories, methods, and research findings in the area of social and personality development during childhood and adolescence. We begin by looking at development in the context of important relationships, such as peers and friends, families, and schools. We next examine the development of the self and other categories that make up who we are (e.g., ethnicity). This module takes a socio-cultural perspective to try to understand development in context.

Module aims

The aim of this module is to build on Level 1 and Level 2 Developmental Psychology, and to introduce students to the many competing theoretical positions and foci of research in this field. As much as possible, we will take a cultural perspective to issues of development. Students will have the opportunity to identify promising future directions for research as well as to become aware of current trends in the field

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
1 Compare and contrast theoretical perspectives in social and personality development K
2 Understand the various measures and methods used to conduct research in this field KC
3 Critically evaluate relevant research literature KC
4 Understand the contexts in which development occurs K

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Module content

Indicative content includes:

Lectures (11 x 2 hours) Seminar-oriented lectures and class discussions. Students will be expected to do short activities outside of class (e.g., watch 20 minutes of children’s television) to augment the lectures.

After an introduction outlining the basic issues in developmental psychology and the strengths, weaknesses and applications of the principle research methods used in the field, the lectures will focus on the following topics: families, peer relations, schools, development of self, emotion understanding, aggression, moral development, discrimination, children’s rights, and gender.

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to:

Give students the skills to critically evaluate theory in developmental psychology
Provide students with foundational knowledge in developmental psychology and the ability to critique the conclusions of this knowledge base
Give students an enhanced literacy (including methodological and statistical literacy) of the current research in the field. 
Develop the capacity to explain and to narrate how research questions form and change in developmental psychology
Develop a critical understanding of the advantages and disadvantages of the major research methods used in psychology

The learning and teaching methods include:

Lectures of 2hrs duration for 11 weeks
Use of Surrey Learn discussion board facility

Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate that

they have core knowledge in social and personality developmental psychology
they have a comprehensive understanding of a topic
they can critically evaluate a specific topic
an ability to critically evaluate the appropriateness of different methodological approaches to developmental psychological problems
their appreciation of the stages of the developmental psychological research process

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

One 60 minute unseen essay format examination (50%) (in formal semester exam period)
One developmental essay (2,500 words-50%)

Formative assessment and feedback

Students will complete a 250-word essay before submitting their assignment.


Students will receive written comments on the formative assessment. They will also receive verbal feedback in lectures. Importantly, there is a discussion group on Surrey Learn where students can ask questions about the assignment and receive quick feedback.

Reading list


Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Liberal Arts and Sciences BA (Hons)/BSc (Hons) 1 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Psychology BSc (Hons) 1 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Sociology with Psychology BSc (Hons) 1 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2017/8 academic year.